Whether your little one has yet to start into their first year of preschool, or you're looking ahead to sending them off to kindergarten this fall, there are many simple things you as a parent can do now to help prepare their minds, bodies, and hearts for all the learning and excitement that "big school" has to offer them.
We all know that a good kindergarten program is far more than just the age-old reading, writing, and arithmetic - it's a chance for your child to grow socially, spiritually, and emotionally into the young man or woman that God has designed them to eventually become. Practicing some of these tips now will help your little one get all they can out of their school experience.
It's one of the most basic tenets of education: literacy. Here are some of the ideas to instill a love of reading before your preschooler comes to kindergarten:
- Model reading in front of your child. Let them see you reading and talking about the books you read.
- Read often to your child.
- Visit the library. Discover the interests of your child and find books that will help them explore those interests.
- Have DEAR time - that is, a Drop Everything And Read time. Even small children like to look at picture books and make up stories as they go. When the day's been stressful, your child is bored (or bouncing off the walls), or begging for your attention, take the opportunity to snuggle with a book!
- Throughout your days, point out letters and sounds in the beginning of names of people you know, places that you visit (like stores, parks, restaurants, etc.), and things they see around them to help them associate letters with sounds. Do it for fun - you can even make an "I Spy" game out of it - and they will begin to pick up on it.
Prepare you preschooler to master those kindergarten math skills with these simple everyday ideas:
- Count steps as you enter a building
- Have your child help you count and measure as you bake something together.
- Let your child count and sort items around the house.
- Have them count your loose change
- Practice geometry, sorting and pattern principles with shapes and everyday objects, like silverware (even in chores like setting the table or putting dishes away), blocks, beads,
Social and Practical
From taking instruction from another adult, to navigating classroom dynamics, to focusing on tasks and activities, kindergarten presents many new challenges and opportunities for young children. Other ideas to prepare for the kindergarten day include:
- Play age-appropriate board games with your child or as a family to practice focus and lengthening your child’s attention span, as well as good sportsmanship and taking turns.
- Strengthen fine motor skills using scissors, and teach your child to hold them in the proper manner. Cutting play dough or simple shapes and lines on paper or cardstock provides great practice.
- Practice holding a pencil and have your child print their name with only the first letter capitalized and the rest in lower case. To get them started, write their name first with a very light pencil line or a dotted line for them to trace.
- Assign your child tasks by providing two-step instructions (example: "Please go get your jacket off the floor and hang it up.").
- Practice self-help skills such as tying shoes, zippering coats, and buttoning pants.
One excellent way to ensure your child is prepared to thrive in kindergarten academically, socially, AND spiritually? Enroll them at Veritas Preschool at Highland, where they will be nurtured and taught by loving, experienced teachers, enjoy making wonderful memories with friends, and grow in their knowledge and love for God.
There are a few spots still available in our 2020-2021 school year at Veritas Preschool! Arrange a visit with our Preschool Director today to snag a spot for your little one and get them on the road to success in school and beyond!